Civilianization of Military Bases
In Civilianizing Military Bases, is the Military intent on unduly extending its reach over the Civilian Civil Society?
The Civilianizing of Military Bases seems to have been an intentional policy, on the part of the Military, decided upon at the highest levels.
As a result Civilians have been "lured" onto Military Bases in all kinds of ways that would have been unthinkable a few years ago.
Whole companies, including many businesses and activities unrelated to anything the Military is doing on those bases have been ensconced on Bases intended for military use. The Military has been, literally, renting space and facilities, and widely contracting out to civilian organizations, even tasks that are strongly sensitive to national security.
This may be fine and good, as long as it presents no problems for either side, but as problems continue to surface, there is justified fear that more are on the way.
There have been a spate of cases that have hit the news in recent weeks and months where civilians, legally on bases, or seeking admittance, have been handled roughly by the military as though they were military personnel instead of civilians. They have been charged with offenses against military rules, as though they were active duty soldiers serving in one of the Services.
The military uses catchy words to describe this novel situation, such as multi-use facilities, and inter-service bases. Parts of these bases, some of which house super secret vital operations related to national security, have substantially been turned over to, (but not really,) to civilian organizations.
Bases even have colored maps that outline areas and levels of military control as opposed to areas and jurisdiction under civilian control. This mixing of drinks span the spectrum from all military areas, to partially military areas, to more or less totally civilian areas. All these "integrational" warm and fuzzy relationships, have their alarming side.
Questions persist: How does all this threaten national security, safety and secrecy? In what ways does this foreshadow an unhealthy mixing of Military culture and laws, with Civilian culture and laws? Are these mixtures a threat to the freedoms that the civil society has under the Constitution and Bill of Rights, including the right to bear arms? Does all this threaten readiness and vital military missions?
Many Americans do not realize that the military operates under a completely different set of laws, (in many respects as though the Constitution and Bill of Rights does not exist.) and that has always been understandable, considering that the Military needs that sort of authoritarian structure in order to fight and win wars to defend our freedoms. It has always been understood that those in the military give up their freedoms to protect ours.
But in the past there has always been a bright line between the "unconstitutional" way of life of the Military, and the constitutional way of life enjoyed by our civil society. That bright line is now threatened in all kinds of ways by the "fraternization" culture that has been instigated by the Military, albeit for supposedly good motives. But, good intentions are not good enough to justify just anything.
The line of separation between our military and its laws and culture, and our civil society and its laws and culture is much more important than the separation of Church and State issue that gets so much attention.
One major reason we fought the Revolutionary War with mother country Great Britain, was the British attempt to merge their military into the fabric of American civilian society. This burning issue is quaintly highlighted by the Declaration of Independence making a casus belli, out of the forcible "Quartering of Soldiers" in the homes of civilians, particularly in peace time. To the Colonists it was a major symbol of something that could never be tolerated, and that was the undue mixing of the Civilian and Military ways of life.
We should never want to return to the "bad old days" of a lack of a proper and sanitary separation, between the Military world and the Civilian world.